Hi, I’m Mike Vatalaro, Executive
Editor at BoatUS Magazine. I’m here today on my boat to show you a real simple
method for bringing your boat alongside a dock or bulkhead. This is for stern
drive or outboard power boats. There are basically four simple steps and I’m going to take
you through it right now. Okay, so, I told you there was four simple steps. Step one
is to line up your approach. Step two is to come in slow. Step three is to time
your swing. And step four is the flourishing finish. Here we go. Step one:
lining up your approach. This is where your judgment comes in. If you’ve got
wind or current behind you, you want to come in fairly shallow to help you stay
off the dock. If you got wind or current against you, you’re going to need to come
in a little steeper in order to carry more momentum to finish the docking. So
if you notice I’m bumping the engines in and out of gear. I’ve got a fairly stiff
wind behind me today so it’s going to help me along. So I’m just bumping an
engine in and out of gear to keep my headway pretty limited. So, step two: come
in slow. Never approach a dock any faster than you’re willing to hit it. So, with
this wind behind me, that’s probably about all the headway I need. Now I’m
aiming for about the center of where I want to tie alongside the dock. This
wind is carrying me in pretty good. I’m just gonna give it one more little bump.
And step three is to time your swing. I’m about a boat length away and I’m going
to swing the wheel hard to starboard. Now this is all for a port side tide,
so this starboard turn – a little kick of engine just to get it to swing. Now my
stern is going to port, and as I’m about parallel with the dock, I’m going to roll
the wheel all the way back to port. That’s the flourishing finish, step four.
Throw that engine in reverse. And if you notice, I’m now coming right along
side and I’m parallel to the dock. Now, with this little bit of breeze, it’s
gonna carry me right in to where I wanted at the dock. You can reach out, grab a
piling, grab a line, and I’m all set to tie up. Thanks for watching. For more
videos, go to BoatUS.com/magazine.